By day, Paul Cucinello is a well-known colorist and celebrity stylist at Manhattanís chic Chris Chase Salon, where he acts as creative director. At night, however, he transforms into SIRPAULô, a popular Electropop singer and head of record label Controversial Records. ďSometimes I feel like Clark Kent and Superman,Ē says Cucinello of his double life. We caught up with the multi-talented stylist/performer to talk about his dueling careers and his latest music video for his new song, Body Connection.
How do these two forms of artistic expression balance each other and/or compete with each other?
Iíve always tried to keep both careers completely separate. Actually, this is the first time I've ever discussed both in an interviewÖI guess the secret's officially out! Both careers balance each other by allowing me to maintain a strong sense of perspective. I feel like my work in the beauty industry requires that I always have a good understanding of what things need to look like so they translate well on camera. Being a pop star is a 100 percent on-camera thing, which can be slightly nerve-wracking at times, but it's made me realize how much other artists really have to rely on their styling team and trust a creative director. I've had to wear all of those hats for a while but now I am fortunate to have a solid crew of people I know and trust in place.
Music, fashion and beauty all are forms of expression, so if you just take one and sit with it long enough, you will start to form ideas and concepts that directly influence and affect the othersI don't think that being an Electropop singer and celebrity stylist really contradict each other in any way except one: when you are working on clients, THEY are always the star.
When did you start your music career? When did you start doing hair?
Both careers run in the family. My parents were hair stylists and made music when they were younger. I started writing music and became interested in hair when I was very young, like 9 years old. I became a stylist when I was 20 and then started to write my first album when I moved to Manhattan a few years later.
Whatís your ďimageĒ as SIRPAULô? Is it the same as your image in the salon?
My image as SIRPAULô is definitely sleek, forward thinking, confident and sexy. I like to push the envelope in my music career, and I don't censor myself for anyone. My image in the salon is far less glamorous. It's always about making my client look and feel beautiful.
What were you inspired by in creating the video for ďBody ConnectionĒ?
The director, Andreas Anastasis, had a very specific vision in his mind and when he presented it to me. We both love male pop icons who are attractive to both sexes: Prince, David Bowie, George Michael and Elvis. We also wanted to reference the Tom Ford ad campaigns and Madonna's "Justify My Love" video, both of which celebrate owning your sexuality and being unapologetic for any of the natural feelings you are curious about exploring. It was really fun to mirror the controversial music videos of the Ď80s and Ď90s. ďBody ConnectionĒ is VERY sexy.
[Check out the video here. Warning: There is partial nudity and some sexually suggestive contentÖ]
How did hair enhance the video?
Hair is the most sensual thing in the world to both Andreas and me. Because we both do hair in addition to making music videos, our standards are much higher. The hair in this video was a key part of setting the mood. The video features five beautiful women and two hot guys with very long hair and they change looks throughout the video so the hair just needed to look crazy-sexy...Oribe products were the obvious choice.
Which Oribe products did you use on set?
We wanted to get a very lived-in, sexy look for this video, and we felt the there was no other product that could create the right amount of volume and texture better than Oribe Dry. Iím convinced that part of what made the video look so dreamy was the cloud of Dry that was in the air on set!
We cocktailed some Gel Sťrum with a dab of CrŤme for Style before blow drying with a large round brushóthe hair needed to stay perfectly imperfect or else it wouldn't be believable. My brilliant assistant Ashlynn Evans (who has a strong background as a makeup artist) suggested we finished with a touch of Gold Pomade to reflect a bit of light since we knew the final product would be rendered in black and white.
Whatís your favorite Oribe product?
I officially cannot live without Oribe Dry and CrŤme for Style. These are two of the products that have completely renewed my interest in hairstyling as a form of artistic expression.
Who is your favorite musician?
I could never pick just one...but YOURS should be SIRPAULô
Where can we find you online?
On Twitter, follow @SIRPAUL for music tweets and @PaulCucinello for beauty tweets.